The Alan Guttmacher Institute

Monthly State Update:
MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN 2006

(as of 3/1/2006)

This update provides information on legislation, as well as relevant executive branch actions and judicial decisions in states across the country. For each of the topics listed below, the number of states in which legislation has been introduced is given, as are the names of the states in which subsequent action has been taken. Detailed summaries are provided for legislation that has been passed by at least one house of a legislature and for major court decisions; actions for the current month are in bold. For an archive of previous monthly updates, click here.  

As of the beginning of March, legislatures in 41 states (AL, AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MA, MD, MI, MN, MS, MO, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI and WY) were in regular session. The legislatures in three states (FL, LA and NC)have not yet convened. Legislatures in six states (AR, MT, NV, ND, OR and TX) will not meet in a regular session in 2006.

 

Jump to actions around:

Abortion
Abortion Bans to Replace Roe

'Choose Life' License Plates

Crisis Pregnancy Centers/Alternatives to Abortion

Fetal Pain
Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods

Medication Abortion

Minors Reporting
Parental Involvement
'Partial-Birth' Abortion
Physician-Only Requirements
Postviability Abortion
Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion
Protecting Access to Clinics

Public Funding of Abortion
Reporting Statistical Information to State Agencies
Stem-Cell and Embryo Research

Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers
See Also:

Contraception and Prevention: Abortion-Related Restrictions on State Family Planning Funds

Fetal Assault
Refusal Clauses: Abortion Services (See also General Medical Services)

Contraception & Prevention
Abortion-Related Restrictions on State Family Planning Funds
Contraceptive Coverage
Emergency Contraception

HPV

Parental Involvement

Requiring Pharmacists or Pharmacies to Dispense Contraception

State Medicaid Family Planning Eligibility Expansions

See Also:

Youth: Child Abuse Reporting
Refusal Clauses: Contraceptive Services (See also General Medical Services)

Pregnancy & Birth

Fetal Assault

HIV Testing of Infants and Pregnant Women

Infant Abandonment

Infertility Coverage
Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Refusal Clauses
Abortion Services
Contraceptive Services
General Medical Services

Youth
Child Abuse Reporting
Sex Education
See Also:

Abortion: Minors Reporting
Abortion: Parental Involvement
Contraception & Prevention: Parental Involvement

 

ABORTION

See also:

CONTRACEPTION & PREVENTION: Abortion-Related Restrictions on State Family Planning Funds
REFUSAL CLAUSES

 

Abortion Bans to Replace Roe

Introduced: 9 states

State with further action

Passed at least one chamber: SD

In February, the SOUTH DAKOTA legislature passed a bill that would ban all abortions in the state except those necessary to save the life of the mother. The bill is awaiting action by Gov. Mike Rounds (R). (In early March, Gov. Rounds signed the bill.)

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'Choose Life' License Plate Revenue Used to Fund Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Introduced: 4 states

Click here for current status of state policy

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Crisis Pregnancy Centers/Alternatives to Abortion

Introduced: 4 states

States with further action

Committee action: AZ and MO

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Fetal Pain

(These bills overlap with bills in the Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Period category.)

Click here for the current status of state policy

Introduced: 8 states

States with further action

Committee action: MO

Passed at least one chamber: AZ, IN, OK and UT

Vetoed: WI

In February, the ARIZONA House passed a bill that would amend the state's current counseling law to require that women seeking an abortion who are at at least 20 weeks gestation be told that "the unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain" and that anesthesia may be administered directly to the fetus to help eliminate any pain caused by the abortion. The bill, which contains an exception for medical emergencies, is pending in the Senate.

In February, the INDIANA House passed a bill that would amend the state's current counseling law to require that a woman seeking an abortion be told that a fetus may feel pain and that she has the option of having anesthesia provided directly to the fetus if the procedure takes place at at least 20 weeks' gestation. The bill would also require that women be told, in writing, about adoption alternatives, the potential health risks of abortion and that life begins at fertilization. The bill is pending in the Senate.

In February, the OKLAHOMA House passed a bill that would amend the state's current counseling law to require that a woman having an abortion after at least 20 weeks' gestation be given the option to review materials that include information on the possibility of a fetus to feel pain after that point in pregnancy. The woman would also be given the option to have anesthesia administered directly to the fetus. The bill is pending in the Senate.

In January, the UTAH House passed a bill that would amend the state's existing counseling law to require that, except in the case of medical emergencies, women seeking an abortion who are at least 20 weeks pregnant must be told about the availability of anesthesia that can be administered directly to the fetus to help eliminate pain. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate.

In January, WISCONSIN Gov. Jim Doyle (D) vetoed a measure that would have amended the state's current counseling law to require that women who are seeking an abortion at least 20 weeks of gestation be told that “the unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain” and that anesthesia may be administered directly to the fetus to help eliminate any pain caused by the abortion. The bill had passed the Senate in September 2005, and the Assembly in November.

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Mandatory Counseling and Waiting Periods Before Abortion

Women Required to Receive State-Directed Counseling:

Introduced: 6 states

States with further action

Committee action: KY

Passed at least one chamber: IN, MS and UT

Click here for current status of state policy

In February, the INDIANA House passed a bill that would amend the state's current counseling law to require that a woman seeking an abortion be told, in writing, about adoption alternatives, the potential health risks of abortion and that life begins at fertilization. The bill, which would also add that a woman be told about fetal pain, is pending in the Senate.

In February, the MISSISSIPPI Senate passed a bill that would amend the state's current counseling law to require a physician to perform an ultrasound on a patient at least 24 hours prior to an abortion and give the woman the opportunity to view the ultrasound image and/or receive a hard copy of it. The measure is pending in the House of Representatives.

In January, the UTAH House passed a measure that would amend the state's current counseling law to require that the information given to women prior to an abortion include a list of adoption agencies and information on financial assistance that can be provided by adoptive parents. The measure, which also includes a provision requiring parental consent, is awaiting action in the Senate.

Requirements for State-Directed Counseling Followed by a Waiting Period:

Introduced: 10 states

State with further action

Passed at least one chamber: KY

Click here for current status of state policy

In February, the KENTUCKY Senate passed a bill that would amend the state's counseling law to mandate that counseling be provided to a woman orally and in person at least 24 hours prior to an abortion. The current law allows the information to be delivered in person, through the Internet or on the telephone. The measure is pending in the House of Representatives.

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Medication Abortion

In February, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld an injunction of an OHIO law that would limit the use of mifepristone except in accordance with all FDA guidelines governing the use of the drug, including limiting its use to women who are more than seven weeks pregnant. The law does not have an exception for cases when medical abortion is safer than surgical abortion in protecting the life and health of the mother. The case, originally filed in August 2004, will now be returned to the district court to determine whether the preliminary injunction should have been more narrowly drafted.

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Minors Reporting Requirements

Introduced: 8 states

States with further action

Committee action: WV

Passed at least one chamber: OK

In February, the OKLAHOMA House passed a measure mandating specific reporting requirements for abortions involving minors. Physicians would need to report the number of instances in which a parent is notified, the number of abortions performed without notice being given and the number of judicial bypasses granted. These statistics, with personal information removed, would be made public once a year. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Parental Involvement in Minors' Abortions

Parental Consent Requirements:

Introduced: 15 states

States with further action

Committee action: AZ

Passed at least one chamber: OK and UT

Click here for current status of state policy

In February, the OKLAHOMA House passed a measure that would require a parent's consent before a physician could perform an abortion on a minor. The consent would be necessary in addition to Oklahoma 's current requirement for parental notification. Neither notification nor consent would be necessary in the case of a medical emergency or a judicial bypass, as under current law. This measure would also allow for a physician to perform an abortion without parental notification and consent if the minor declares she is a victim of sexual abuse and a report is made. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

In January, the UTAH House passed a measure requiring abortion providers to obtain parental consent before performing an abortion on a minor. (State law would continue to require providers to notify one of the minor's parents 24 hours before the procedure as well.) Consent could be waived with a judicial bypass or in cases of a medical emergency. The measure also requires that the counseling given to women include information concerning adoption. The measure is currently awaiting action in the Senate.

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Parental Notification Requirements:

Introduced: 13 states

Click here for current status of state policy

In February, The Federal District Court for the Northern District of FLORIDA upheld the state's parental notification law. The law, which went into effect in July 2005, requires parental notification before a physician may perform an abortion on a minor.

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'Partial-Birth' Abortion

Introduced: 6 states

Click here for current status of state policy

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Physician-Only Requirements

Introduced: 7 states

States with further action

Committee action: MS and VA

Enacted: OH

In February, OHIO Gov. Bob Taft (R) signed a measure that would prohibit physician assistants from performing an abortion or prescribing a drug that would induce an abortion. The bill passed the Senate in October 2005 and the House of Representatives in January.

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Postviability Abortion

Introduced: 5 states

Click here for current status of state policy

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Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion

Introduced: 3 states

State with further action

Passed at least one chamber: AZ

Click here for current status of state policy

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Protecting Access to Clinics

Introduced: 4 states

State with further action

Committee action: WA

Click here for current status of state policy

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Public Funding of Abortion for Low-Income Women

Introduced: 9 states

State with further action

Committee action: VA

Click here for current status of state policy

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Reporting Statistical Information to State Agencies

Introduced: 5 states

States with further action

Committee action: WV

Passed at least one chamber: KS and VA

Click here for current status of state policy

In February, the KANSAS Senate passed a measure that would require certain reporting requirements for abortions: Physicians would need to report information concerning abortions performed after 22 weeks' gestation, including any mental or physical disabilities on the part of the pregnant woman and any fetal abnormalities. A requirement to report abortions performed on minors was removed from the bill before passage. The measure is awaiting action in the House. 

In February , the VIRGINIA House passed a bill that would require that doctors submit a report to the state each time a patient has physical complications or dies as the result of an abortion. The bill died in the Senate.

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Stem-Cell and Embryo Research

Introduced: 18 states

States with further action

Committee action: MD

Passed at least one chamber: DE, MS and VA

In January, the DELAWARE House amended and passed a measure that had originally been intended to promote stem cell research in the state. As passed by the Senate in June, the original version would have promoted stem cell research while banning reproductive cloning. In sharp contrast, the House-passed version would ban reproductive cloning while leaving the issue of stem cell research unaddressed. The measure's sponsor in the Senate has decided to let the bill expire rather than ratify the House version.

In February, the MISSISSIPPI House passed a measure banning all forms of cloning in the state, including somatic cell nuclear transfer. Therapeutic cloning not involving somatic cell nuclear transfer would be protected and an advisory committee would be established to monitor stem cell research in the state. The measure later died in a Senate committee.

In February, the VIRGINIA Senate and House passed separate measures creating a Virginia Cord Blood Initiative to collect, screen and store umbilical cord blood. In addition, the two measures would promote umbilical cord donation awareness in hospitals and among pregnant women. The measures are awaiting action in both the House and Senate.

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Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers

Introduced: 11 states

States with further action

Committee action: KY

Passed at least one chamber: IN, KS and VA

Enacted: SD

In February, the INDIANA House passed a measure that would establish new building codes for abortion clinics. Specifically, it would require abortion clinics to meet a variety of physical plant requirements by January 1, 2007 or face revocation of their licenses. The Senate then amended and passed the measure. Under the Senate version, abortion clinics would need to meet standard fire and health safety codes and would be subject to inspection once a year. The measure is awaiting concurrence in the House.

In February, the KANSAS House passed a measure that would regulate all office-based surgical centers in the state. What began as a bill targeting abortion clinics was amended to regulate building codes and licensing and inspection processes for all nonhospital facilities where surgery occurs. The measure was amended to win approval from Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who, in the past, has vetoed similar bills that specifically targeted abortion clinics. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

In February, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in a case involving OHIO's requirement that ambulatory surgical centers, such as abortion clinics, have an agreement with a local hospital to accept clinic patients in cases of an emergency. No local hospital would agree to such a transfer arrangement with an abortion clinic, leading the facility to request a waiver of the requirement from the state. When the state refused the waiver and ordered the clinic closed, the clinic filed suit, arguing that patients would be endangered by needing to travel long distances. The court dismissed the suit, in part, because it held that traveling long distances to obtain an abortion does not constitute undue burden.

In February, the SOUTH DAKOTA House passed, and Gov. Mike Rounds (R) signed into law a measure imposing regulations of abortion clinics that are more onerous than those imposed on similar types of health care facilities. The new measure gives the state Department of Health unlimited control of the regulatory process and higher application fees. The new law will go into effect July 1, 2006.

In February, the SOUTH DAKOTA House passed a measure that would have imposed regulation of abortion clinics. It would have required steep licensing fees and given the state health department virtually unlimited authority to regulate abortion providers. The measure died when it was subsequently replaced with an abortion counseling bill that was defeated.

In February, the VIRGINIA House passed a measure imposing regulations on abortion clinics that would have defined all abortion clinics as ambulatory surgical facilities. It would have required abortion clinics to meet heightened building code regulations and be subject to scrutiny greater than that imposed on other nonhospital surgical providers in the state. The measure died in Senate committee

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CONTRACEPTION & PREVENTION

See also:

REFUSAL CLAUSES
YOUTH: Child Abuse Reporting

Abortion-Related Restrictions on Family Planning Funds

Introduced: 7 states

States with further action

Committee action: VA

Enacted: CO

Click here for current status of state policy

In February, COLORADO Gov. Bill Owens (R) signed an appropriation bill for the Department of Public Health and Environment that continues the state's policy of prohibiting state family planning funds from going to organizations that provide abortion services with their own funds. The measure passed both chambers of the legislature in February.

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Contraceptive Coverage Mandates

Introduced: 7 states

States with further action

Committee action: SD and UT

Enacted: NJ

Click here for current status of state policy

(ENACTED) In January, NEW JERSEY Acting Gov. Dick Codey (D) signed a bill that requires health benefit plans that cover outpatient prescription drugs to include coverage of prescription contraceptives. A religious employer can be exempted from the requirement if the objection is based on bona fide religious beliefs and the organization is a church, association of churches or a religiously sponsored school. Exempted organizations must notify employees of the refusal. In 2005, the bill passed the Senate in June and the Assembly in December.

In January, a NEW YORK appeals court rejected a challenge to the state's contraceptive coverage mandate based on its provisions allowing certain religious employers to refuse to provide the coverage. The law was challenged by religiously-affiliated organizations who claimed that the existing exemption was too narrow and as such violated federal and state constitutional protections for religion. The court held that the law does not violate religious rights because it is designed to increase women's access to health care services and not impinge on religion. The religious organizations plan to appeal to the state's highest court.

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Emergency Contraception

(See Also: Requiring Pharmacists to Dispense Contraception and Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Contraceptive Services)

Offering Emergency Contraception Services to Sexual Assault Victims:

Introduced: 12 states
States with further action

Committee action: HI and SD

Click here for current status of state policy

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Allowing Pharmacists to Provide Emergency Contraception without a Prescription:

Introduced: 7 states

States with further action

Passed at least one chamber: CO and NY

Click here for current status of state policy

In February, the COLORADO House adopted a measure that would give pharmacists prescribing authority for emergency contraception. The bill specifically excludes medication abortion from the definition of emergency contraception. It is awaiting action by the Senate.

In February, the NEW YORK Assembly passed a measure that would allow pharmacists and registered nurses to dispense emergency contraceptives without a prescription if acting under an agreement with a physician, nurse practitioner or licensed midwife. The pharmacist would have to complete training on emergency contraception and provide clients with a fact sheet that would be developed by the state Department of Health. This measure is identical to another bill that was vetoed last year by Gov. George Pataki (R).

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Expanding Access to Emergency Contraception:

Introduced: 4 states

Click here for current status of state policy

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Restricting Access to Emergency Contraception:

Introduced: 7 states

States with further action

Committee action: AZ, IL and NH

Click here for current status of state policy

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Requiring Pharmacists or Pharmacies to Dispense Contraception

Introduced: 9 states

State with further action

Commitee action: AZ

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HPV

Introduced: 6 states

State with further action

Committee action: WV

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Parental Involvement Requirements for Minors Seeking Contraceptive Services

Introduced: 10 states

States with further action

Committee action: AZ, MS and VA

Click here for current status of state policy

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State Medicaid Family Planning Eligibility Expansions

Introduced: 2 states

States with further action

Committee action: VA and WI

Click here for current status of state policy

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PREGNANCY & BIRTH

See also:

REFUSAL CLAUSES

Fetal and Pregnant Woman Assault

Introduced: 28 states

States with further action

Committee action: GA, IN, MS, NH, OK, SC and SD

Passed at least one chamber: AL

In January, the ALABAMA House passed a measure that would amend the state's current law to permit a fetus of any gestational age to be considered a victim of either criminal assault or homicide. Exceptions would be made for standard medical care provided with the pregnant woman's consent. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

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HIV Testing of Infants and Pregnant Women

Introduced: 3 states

State with further action

Committee action: NJ

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Infant Abandonment

Introduced: 8 states

States with further action

Committee action: HI, IL and WA

Click here for current status of state policy

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Infertility Coverage

Introduced: 8 states

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Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Introduced: 17 states

States with further action

Committee action: AK and HI

Passed at least one chamber: ID

Click here for current status of state policy

In February, the IDAHO Senate adopted a measure that would make it a criminal act for a woman to use controlled substances during pregnancy. The bill would not apply in cases when drugs are taken for legal purposes. Although the legislation would not require physicians to report prenatal substance abuse, it would grant them immunity from liability if they did so. The measure is awaiting action in the House.

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REFUSAL CLAUSES

Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Abortion Services

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse:

Introduced: 12 states

States with further action

Committee action: MO and SD

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Insurers to Refuse:

Introduced: 8 states

State with further action

Committee action: MO

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse:

Introduced: 16 states

States with further action

Committee action: MO and SD

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Facilities to Refuse:

Introduced: 8 states

State with further action

Committee action: MO

Click here for current status of state policy

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Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Contraceptive Services

(See also: Requiring Pharmacists to Dispense Contraception)

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse:

Introduced: 12 states

States with further action

Committee action: MO and SD

Click here for current status of state policy

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Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse:

Introduced: 17 states

States with further action

Committee action: IL, MO, NH and SD

Click here for current status of state policy

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Establishing the Right to Refuse to Provide Medical Care in General

Allowing Health Professionals to Refuse:

Introduced: 9 states

States with further action

Committee action: MO and SD

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Insurers to Refuse:

Introduced: 7 states

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Pharmacists to Refuse:

Introduced: 11 states

States with further action

Committee action: MO and SD

Click here for current status of state policy

Allowing Facilities to Refuse:

Introduced: 8 states

State with further action

Committee action: MO

Click here for current status of state policy

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YOUTH

See also:
ABORTION: Parental Involvement
CONTRACEPTION & PREVENTION: Parental Involvement

Child Abuse Reporting

Introduced: 12 states

States with further action

Committee action: MS and VA

Passed at least one chamber: KY

In January, a three judge panel of the U.S. 10 th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a 2003 injunction barring enforcement of KANSAS ' controversial statutory rape reporting law. As interpreted by Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, the law would have required health care providers to report consensual sexual behavior between minors under the age of 16 to law enforcement or face fines. Lawyers are currently seeking a permanent injunction in federal District Court. 

In February, the KENTUCKY House passed a measure that would expand the state's existing statutory rape laws by establishing specific criminal penalties for sexual relationships between a minor and someone in a position of authority. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Sex Education

Provisions Requiring Sex Education:

Introduced: 24 states

States with further action

Committee action: HI, IL and WI

Passed at least one chamber: MS, SD, UT and VA

Click here for current status of state policy

In February, a committee in the MISSISSIPPI House defeated a measure that would have required students to receive abstinence education and information on fetal development. The purpose of instruction on fetal development was to provide a "better understanding of the relationship between the mother and her unborn fetus." Currently, school districts in the state have the option of providing abstinence education. The bill passed the Senate in February.

In February, a committee in the SOUTH DAKOTA Senate defeated a measure that would have amended the state's requirements for abstinence education, which is a mandatory component of the required character education. The bill specifically would have prohibited instruction on contraception; it passed the House in February.

In February, a committee in the SOUTH DAKOTA Senate defeated a measure that would have prohibited the distribution of contraceptives and abortifacients on school grounds. It passed the House in February.

In February, the UTAH Senate adopted a bill that would set guidelines for school boards to follow when authorizing a school club or allowing a club to use school facilities. Criteria for denial include clubs with activities that "involve human sexuality" by presenting information that violates sex education laws, discussing sex outside of legal marriage or in a manner that is prohibited by state law, or discussing contraception. The bill was subsequently defeated by a House committee in early March.

In January, the VIRGINIA House adopted a measure that would require school-based sex education to "emphasize" abstinence. Curricula would also be required to encourage students to "honor and respect monogamous heterosexual marriage" and discuss the emotional and psychological consequences of adolescent sexual activity. The measure would give parents the option to remove their children from the instruction. The measure is awaiting action in the Senate.

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Production of the State Update is made possible by support from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and The John Merck Fund.




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